Bentley Miniature Railway in the grounds of Bentley

Works Update

This page details maintenance and upgrade works on Bentley Railway undertaken by our members.

February 2015

The revised track positioning at Glyndebourne Wood is now taking shape with the trailing point installed today. You can now clearly see the new alignment and headshunt/siding. We are confident that the railway will be ready to return to normal service next weekend (14th Feb 2015).
Feb 2015 trackworks

January 2015

The railway has closed for a few weeks (re-opening by the 14th Feb) to allow some essential maintenance to be completed. This includes work to re-align Glyndebourne Wood platform and provide a headshunt/siding, you can see from the below photo that the revised trackbed is largely complete and it is hoped that the track may even be moved into it's new position this coming week.
Jan 2015

November 2014

In addition to the pointwork replacement our teams have been working feverishly to remove all the now unused 5" gauge rail and you can see that the appearance is much cleaner without the third rail that confused so many people. The below photo was taken at the approach to Glyndebourne Wood station. The unused rail is to be used as part of our further improvements to the new Bentley East area early in the new year.. watch this space
Point replacement November 2014

November 2014

The pointwork replacement project mentioned below has now been completed including new point operating mechanisms which offer a very positive movement but also trail more easily during shunt maneuvres. A montage of photos can be seen below showing these highlights.
Point replacement November 2014

October 2014

As the peak summer season is now past our permanent way team have taken possesion of some sections of line within the original loop and during this month will be replacing 3 turnouts with new 7 1/4" only models to the latest specification also featuring the new low profile, locking, point control mechanism. Below you can see the first of these 3 turnouts in position.
Point replacement October 2014 Part 1

Update 1: Following on from the above we have now nearly replaced the 2nd and 3rd turnouts and hope to have these back in service within the next week. The below photo highlights the change to the ground levels required to bring them back into position, probably fairly similar to where they had been back in 1985 when the track here was first laid!Point replacement October 2014 Part 2

June 2014

The Bentley Singalling and Telegraph and permanent way teams have been busy recently and today completed the installation of a new turnout in the Bentley Central area. This new turnout features a new style of point motor which we believe will provide much more definite positioning than the previous cranked system whilst at the same time including the first of a new 4th generation treadle. By way of background the railway operates a largely automated signalling system which identifies where the trains are within the railway based upon the train wheels depressing detectors (called treadles) placed within the track, this new treadle (on the left hand line within the left hand photo) is almost invisible by being recessed into a guide rail, by comparison the above left hand photo also shows a standard 3rd generation treadle on the right hand line and an older 1st generation treadle in the centre of the right hand photo.
June 2014 Bentley Central point replacement

April 2014

Following on from the below turnout replacement the project to realign the track on approach to Glynebourne Wood Station has now been completed and you can see below a few angles highlighting the work of our Permanent Way Team.
Apr 2014 station approach realignment

March 2014

Installation of one of the 2 new turnouts in the Glynebourne Wood area was completed today following on from Novembers update, below. These turnouts replace the combination single/dual gauge ones which will be used to replace others elsewhere on the circuit once the second half of this pair are installed shortly.
works party installing points March 2014

November 2013

Further work has been undertaken by our permanent way team who have improved the alignment of the track as it enters the first section of our extension now that things have settled. In the left hand photo you can see the dog-legs in the old track alignment. The work was conducted by placing steel spikes to mark the new alignment then moving the right hand edging boards out based on these spikes before finally lifting and slewing the track across to the new alignment which creates a much gentler curve. In due course the left hand side track edging timbers will also be lifted and repositioned to suit the updated track alignment.
Track re-alignment

April 2013

Our permanent way team report that the track on the curve approaching Bentley Central Station had been reported by train crews to be "a bit wobbly" in places. Investigations revealed that some of the rail lengths had not been correctly rolled, which was 'stressing' the curvature alignment of each track panel. The left hand photo shows what happened when one of the rails was released from the sleeper fixing screws! A bit of "unbending" using a custom adjustable clamp device allowed the rail to hold a better alignment, resulting in the re-assembled track panel as shown in the right hand photo. The works have also allowed the opportunity to replace a few rotting sleepers. And all done without lifting a single panel of track!
Track Destressing at Horsted Yard

2010-2012 Track Extension

Between 2010 - 2012 a major project to extend Bentley Miniature Railway from 1/2 mile to 1 mile encompassing a new station at Bentley East for the wildfowl reserve was undertaken, as the structural building project is now complete you can view details of this work on the
Extension Project Archive
We will chart subsequent developments on the new section within this main works page going forward